Federal Budget support for Hobart Cathedral

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has welcomed Federal Government support announced in Tuesday's Budget for the restoration of the historic St Mary's Cathedral in Hobart.

Archbishop Doyle, who is in Sydney for a plenary meeting of Catholic Bishops, said the financial support for the St Mary's Cathedral Restoration Commission would ensure that the much-need restoration project would be able to meet all its objectives.

"The Cathedral is just one of a large number of Tasmania's heritage assets that we are responsible for protecting, but it is perhaps the most prominent in the eyes of both the Catholic and the broader Tasmanian community, given its significance in the history of our State," he said.

"The Restoration Commission has a huge task on its hands and I am grateful that the Federal Government has recognised this by providing a grant to the Commission and tax-deductibility for donations to it.

"I am particularly grateful to Senator Paul Calvert for his strong representations to the Federal Treasurer on behalf of the Restoration Commission and his personal support for the work of the restoration project," Archbishop Doyle said.

The Chairman of the St Mary's Cathedral Restoration Commission, Mr Michael Clarke, says that its new tax-deductibility status will providing an incentive for the broader community to help out as well.

"Broad community support is essential if we are to complete the project and return this very significant heritage building to the condition that its 19th Century architects William Wardell and Henry Hunter envisaged, and that the Tasmanian Heritage Council also expects us to achieve," he said.

Meanwhile a Queensland diocesan newspaper reports that Premier Peter Beattie earlier this year presented the Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton with a cheque for $110,000 to assist with the restoration of the historic St Joseph's Cathedral.

The most recent issue of The Review newspaper reports that Bishop Heenan in welcoming the Premier said "St Joseph's Cathedral is ... indeed an architectural treasure of this historic city as is St Paul's Cathedral and the many beautiful buildings along Quay Street and it deserves to be preserved."

The Bishop said that it was identified some years ago that an ongoing maintenance program was needed to ensure historic Victorian Gothic building remained part of the Rockhampton community.

While presenting the cheque Premier Beattie said "St Joseph's is a vital part of Rockhampton's heritage and community life and I am pleased that my government is able to make this donation towards the restoration of the building."

"Consecrated in 1882, St Joseph's Cathedral has played a vital role in the life of the Rockhampton community across three centuries."

"I understand some $2 million will be needed to return the Cathedral to its full glory and I will vigorously support any application the diocese may make to the Commonwealth's Heritage Grants program," the Premier said.

Federal support for Cathedral project welcomed (Archdiocese of Hobart 11/5/06)
Qld Government Supports Restoration of St Joseph's Cathedral (The Review, Dicoese of Rockhampton, April 2005)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Hobart
Diocese of Rockhampton

Award winning architect appointed for Bunbury Cathedral (CathNews 28/2/06)
Bunbury survey finds support for new cathedral (CathNews 20/10/05)

12 May 2006